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Principles for Sustainable Insurance consultation takes off from Africa

A newsletter from UNEP

UNEP FI and the African insurance industry took the first steps of a global journey to develop sustainability principles for the insurance industry at the regional consultation meeting for Africa in mid-March.

Over 70 senior executives from the African insurance industry and its stakeholders attended the meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. They set in motion an unprecedented process during which insurers from all corners of the world will collectively develop a global best practice framework to manage environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, and a UN-backed global insurance initiative.

The inaugural meeting was jointly hosted by African insurer, Santam, and the South African Insurance Association.

The consultation process will travel all regions this year, with the meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean being hosted by HSBC Insurance from 16 to 17 May in São Paulo, Brazil. This will be followed by meetings for North America, Middle East and North Africa, Oceania, Europe and Asia.

The Johannesburg event was met with much interest by African insurers and led to extensive media coverage.

“As risk managers, risk carriers and investors, the insurance industry is uniquely positioned to lead in understanding a changing risk landscape and in managing global and systemic risks,” said UNEP FI’s programme leader Butch Bacani, who coordinates the initiative.

The process will culminate at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the launch of finalised Principles for Sustainable Insurance as a landmark contribution to building a sustainable global economy.

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